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We welcome back Dr. Gillian MacKay of the University of Toronto. Dylan and Gillian talk about how she’s been keeping her creative self during the pandemic, conducting pedagogy and how meditation has helped help her as a teacher and conductor. We also speak about addressing our privilege/biases as conductors and how we can continue to make our classrooms and rehearsals more representative of the diverse community we live in.

About Gillian

Gillian MacKay is Professor of Music of the University of Toronto, where she conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches conducting. Gillian has an active professional career as a conductor, adjudicator, clinician and trumpeter. She has conducted honour ensembles throughout Canada and the United States, and is Associate Conductor of the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra. Dr. MacKay has adjudicated Canadian band festivals at local, provincial, and national levels in Canada. She has conducted honour bands and judged competitions in the US, Singapore, Thailand, and Korea.


Dr. MacKay enjoys presenting clinics and workshops at provincial and state conferences in Canada and the United States, and is known for her work on the relationship between conducting and mime. Currently, she is investigating the application of the Michael Chekhov acting technique to movement and meaning in conducting. Recognized as a conducting pedagogue, Gillian leads the University of Toronto Wind Conducting Symposium each July, and has been the guest instructor at other symposia in Canada and the United States.


EKR Hammell | Skyline (BRP Theme Music)

University of Toronto Wind Ensemble, Dr. Gillian MacKay - Conductor

Learn more:

Gustav Holst | Second Suite in F for Military Band, Fantasia on the "Dargason" 

Air Combat Command Heritage of American Band  



University of Toronto


Conducting and Mime

Article by Dr. Gillian MacKay


Michael Chekhov


University of Toronto Conducting Symposium


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